Danish introduced to beignets

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SORRENTO – On Feb. 1, River Parishes Community College welcomed 10 Danish students to campus to learn about Louisiana student life. The visitors, who ranged in age from 17 to 34, started off the day with a beignet breakfast in the chancellor’s office and a reading of a letter crafted by the English-learning Danish students:

Dear fellow students:

First of all we would like to thank you all so much for giving us the possibility to visit your school.

We are all English students from Denmark, who are here on a study tour, which we hope will teach us a lot about Americans and their way of life.

Denmark is a small country compared to yours. It’s part of Scandinavia and has about 5 million inhabitants. We speak Danish and for many people it’s a difficult language to learn, as we have three more letters in our alphabet. But since we are only about five million people in the world who speak Danish, we have to learn as many languages as possible, and a study tour is a brilliant way to practice what we learn in school.

This whole idea arose when we had a visit from five wonderful American people, who came to Denmark last September to see how we lived. They sat down, and for three hours they answered all kinds of questions and gave us all a new and very refreshing view on how it’s like to be an American in today’s world.

Usually ordinary people like us only “know” each other through the news coverage in newspapers and on TV, but most news channels have a tendency to thrive on the bad things and seem to forget about all the good things.

To fight prejudice in the world we need to meet other people from 9other countries and cultures with an open mind and an open heart.

That was exactly what our American friends did when they came to Denmark, and we can only hope that we will be able to leave you with the same positive and long lasting feelings that they have.

As we already stated, we are very grateful for this opportunity, and should any of you ever want to come to Denmark and visit our school, you’ll be most welcome, and we will do everything we can to make sure that your stay will be as rewarding and comfortable as possible.

Afterward, the students attended English classes with RPCC students and toured the campus, especially RPCC’s new classroom building. The visit ended with a gathering at Sorrento’s Cajun Village on the corner of Louisiana highways 22 and 70 for an authentic Louisiana meal.

When asked what surprised them most about Louisiana, the students were quick to note Southern hospitality. “The people here are just so sweet,” said one of the visitors, Martina Lonni Hansen. “You can tell that if you asked them for something, they’d not hesitate to help you in any way. I find that so, so sweet.”